Day Trips: Responsible Daytripping

The wildflowers can wait


The wildflowers can wait. It’s best to stay home and stay safe. We’ll be back daytripping soon enough. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Bluebonnet season is raging across the Hill Country, laying down a carpet of roadside beauty, and we’re confined to our homes and neighborhoods. Gasoline prices are at an all-time low and our cars sit in the driveway covered in wormlike oak pollen all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to get in my car, drive around the Highland Lakes, and come home. Isn’t the confines of my four-wheeled pod as isolating as my living room? The problem is, while you’re out you’ll need to:

• Stop to get gas

• Stop to use the restroom

• Stop to take pictures

And, heaven forbid, you have car trouble or an accident that requires someone else to break the stay-at-home mandate, too.

While a day trip around the backroads might improve your mental health, it goes against the statewide ban on nonessential travel.

The Texas Department of State Health Services replied to my email asking for clarification with a very succinct reply: “DSHS advises to stay home and only make trips for essential items such as food and medication.” Williamson County was a bit more forceful in their reply: “The activity you describe is not considered essential in the county’s Stay Home Stay Safe order.” The county order, which is pretty similar to orders from other counties and cities, clearly states in Section 7: “All travel … except Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined in Section 10 is prohibited.”

While a little daytripping might not seem like much to ask, it may not be good for other people. Stay at home; it’s the right thing to do.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


1,494th in a series. Find virtual day trips and travel advisories in “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: Polly's Chapel, Bandera
Day Trips: Polly's Chapel, Bandera
Frontier chapel survives 140 years in the woods

Gerald E. McLeod, June 5, 2020

Day Trips: Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
Day Trips: Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
A National Wildlife Refuge in our midst

Gerald E. McLeod, May 29, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

COVID-19, coronavirus, travel, wildflowers, bluebonnets

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle